Online Ordering as the solution for current situation (2022)

By Categen Inc.

Last updated February 6, 2022

An experiment in the 90’s conducted by Pizza Hut has wowed the world. They made it possible to order a pizza online from a computer, anywhere in Santa Cruz, California. Consequently, they planted the first stone in the foundation of online ordering, which is nowaday a routine for most consumers. By providing fast, convenient and travel-less options to consumers, online ordering has proven its success. According to the Canadian government, 74% of Canadians shopped online in 2018. However, that was before the infamous Covid-19 hit. With the ease of all non-essential in-store shopping during peaks of the pandemic, online ordering has dived even deeper into the everyday choice of consumers. In 2020, 82% of Canadians decided they wanted to shop online.

Small businesses are the most vulnerable during this time of a crisis. According to Statistics Canada, in the third quarter of 2021, 10.4% to 15.5% of small businesses expected to see a decrease in sales over the next three months, while only 7.1% of businesses with 100 or more employees expected the same. For this reason, small businesses nowaday must find a way to conduct their business online, since it is a vital element to thrive from the unavoidable Coronavirus. Most certainly, one of the solutions is online-ordering.

Source: Statistics Canada

There are many benefits to choosing online ordering for your business. During the peak of the covid-19 pandemic, online ordering was the only source of income for some businesses, especially those whose in-person shopping was completely forced to close down. Besides a helping hand during the pandemic, the benefits online ordering brings to business owners are also significant.

The perks of online ordering

1. Keeping customers with loyalty programs

It takes five times more resources to acquire new customers than to try to keep the existing cones. For that reason, loyalty programs are extremely important to most businesses. Choosing to use online ordering can help your business integrate online customer loyalty programs. These programs will help keep both existing and new customers coming back to your business. Moreover, it is much more reliable to have these loyalty programs online and managed by a computer. Your business will no longer have to suffer from human errors.

2. Offering more flexibility to customers

Your customers will no longer need to decide on time and effort anymore. Do I have the time to physically go there? Do I have the energy to physically go there? With online ordering, these questions are all gone. Orders can now be completed anytime, and the customers are just one-click away from their favorite product.

3. Saying goodbye to long phone calls

The average handle time (AHT) for services range between 4:45 to 8:30 minutes. It means if your business receives 10 calls about the goods/services per day, it might take a staff up to an hour and a half to provide the customers with the necessary information. With online ordering, many important information can now be found online. For example, there may be less customers calling a restaurant regarding the menu, because if they have an online-ordering system, the menu should already be up on the website/app. It might save you and your business a lot more resources than you imagined.

4. Reaching more customers

Nowaday, it is the data and the information that can be valued even more than money. People are willing to pay a tremendous amount of money so that they can access relevant datas. Wouldn’t it be great if your business can be accessed and have people purchase your goods, services from anywhere? Accessibility is the new diamond, and online-ordering can bring your business to catch up with current world trends.

5.Increasing efficiency

Efficiency of businesses can be improved with online-ordering. Customers will now have to do more research on their own before making the purchase since assistance is more limited. As a result, businesses can save up on that. For the restaurant industry, there are no longer leftovers to take home. There is no more having to wait in line, when now customers know the estimated time they’d have to arrive once their order is ready, or when their order is delivered.

6. Easily monitoring accounting

You do have an accountant for your business but you’re still worried about human errors in accounting? Errors may come from the accountants themselves, however, they can also come from the customers or your staffs. According to Medium, humans actually hold accountable for an average of 5% of error rate in hospitality services. Even when the mistakes are not made on purpose, it would still cost your business money. Online ordering can manage that risk by providing an online, computer processed system. And even though sometimes the programmers do, machines don’t make mistakes.

7. Ending human error from the service end

Coming back to the idea of human errors, besides accounting, online ordering can also help prevent frauds and mistakes from extra steps. Staff with bad intentions can sometimes not give out receipts to cheat the system. This will put your profits and sometimes even your business in danger. Online-ordering does not require staff interaction with the money, thus preventing these types of risk.

8. Collecting customer data with ease

Online ordering can provide you with certain datas and analytics. Depending on the company, with online ordering, now you can collect  customers’ information for necessary promotions or customer loyalty programs in the future.

9. Maxing out profit

There are many strategies that service owners can use to maximize their customer spendings, such as providing free shipping and attractive spending discount programs. Moreover, after the table covid-19 hits, the amount of people shopping for their groceries online in the US doubled that of the year before. This may spark a change in customers’ behavior, which could shift the majority of them to favor online ordering in the future.

Projections show that ecommerce sales worldwide are going to grow to $6.4 trillion by 2024.

Source: Oberlo’s “10 Online Shopping Statistics You Need to Know in 2021“

There are many online ordering systems out there, here is how you can choose the one that fits your business best

1. Online ordering software that can actually bring clients to your business

Many owners do not want to consider having an online ordering system due to fearing changes might affect the business’s profit. For that reason, there is nothing better than having a convenient tool that can give your business all the benefits listed above, but also generate more profits. Consider choosing an online ordering system that supports customer loyalty programs, so that no compromises on the business’s profits are to be made from your part.

2. High level of customization

Every business has different needs and every brand has its own personality. You should choose an online ordering system that adds value to your business without compromising too much of the existing brand image. Beside that, an extensively customizable online ordering system can help you put its functionality into use without too much of a headache. Afterwards, all the add-ons and supplementary features would also be applied much more easily.

3. Competitive pricing and promotional support

In the market, different companies offer different pricing on online ordering systems. Some companies even provide paid promotional support along with their services (e.g: branding, web design, web development,…) . Ideally, the best online ordering system for your business should bring you exactly what you need, for the cost that can scale up along with your business. You should also get as much free promotional support in the package as possible.

4. Premium customer support

You have been on the phone, waiting for more than an hour but still nobody has picked up the phone to answer why the error happened on that order. There is nothing more frustrating than having to spend the time dealing with issues that are not supposed to be yours. Therefore, it is important to choose a company which values their customer support as much as the quality of the product they offer.

5. Security in payment

Security is a big challenge for any e-commerce product. Fraudulent and impersonation often scare service owners to not consider using online payment. To keep you from all the worries and headaches, you should choose an online ordering service provider that can guarantee your money once the transaction goes through.